The state of playgrounds in Australian schools

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Australian school playgrounds have changed considerably over recent decades to reflect a climate of ‘surplus safety’. The playgrounds and policies of many Australian schools have reduced students’ opportunities for active, creative and diverse play. Significant school playground changes have included the reduction of school break time (i.e. lunch and other recess periods), removal of playground equipment, merging of school facilities which can result to crowded play spaces, and restrictive rules relating to students’ use of school playgrounds’ grounds that can lead to teachers undertaking playground policing-type roles. In Australia, there is an absence of regulations governing school playgrounds beyond the national standards for manufacturing playground equipment, and the majority primary school facilities within the state of Victoria are often over 50 years old. The most common school playground features reported have included sporting areas such as basketball courts, netball courts, sandpits, grassed play areas and football ovals. Educators plan, manage and monitor school playgrounds as they see fit. Within Australian schools, it has been revealed that all educators are allocated to undertake playground supervision during school breaks and the impact of such supervision on students’ play opportunities is little understood. It has been reported in Victoria that educators frequently report playground supervision (e.g. ‘yard duty’) as something they wish to forego. With educators across the teaching profession allocated playground supervision duties on a daily basis, it is important to provide researchers with insight into the state of school playgrounds prior to any intervention implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary school playground strategies for healthy students
EditorsBrendon Hyndman
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789811047381
ISBN (Print)9789811047374
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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